It seems like a lot of teams’ Premier League form has turn on its head in recent games, with those sides showing early promise finding the going far tougher than had initially been anticipated, and some of the early strugglers finally getting the wheels on their wagons.
Aston Villa and Swansea City meet on Saturday with noises already coming from the rumour mill suggesting that Villa boss Tim Sherwood might be replaced by David Moyes if a home win against the Swans is not forthcoming. Swansea is on a thoroughly rocky run of form, and a defeat to a Villa team with only four points from nine games would really put the hipsters’ favourite in trouble. The odds of 21/10 with BetVictor for a Villa win seem overly pessimistic, and we’re inclined to punt on it.
Leicester City have had a ball this season, and the team’s survival in the Premier League having given players a boost that is reflected in its top-half position. Away specialist side Crystal Palace will pose a major threat at the King Power Stadium, and this could indeed go either way, though given both teams’ liking for the counter-attack, a Palace win seems a possibility. 11/5 with Betfair for a Palace win, and 18/5 with Unibet for penalty-taker Yohan Cabaye to score anytime, seem like good odds.
The Manchester derby promises to show how tough Manchester United really is. The team that thrashed Liverpool then lost to Arsenal and beat Everton, so Louis van Gaal’s masters of inconsistency certainly have it in them to upset City at Old Trafford. If it happens, it’ll be a slight surprise, though we’re more inclined to opt for a draw, at 12/5 with Bet365.
There’s another derby taking place on Sunday, the Tyne-Wear derby, between two teams who cannot bear to lose. Steve McClaren might finally have got Newcastle United winning, but Sunderland, under the doughty Sam Allardyce, will not lie down at home and allow the Magpies to walk to a second win, especially in the style of Newcastle’s impressive win over Norwich last weekend. Late goals are always possible in this fixture, and 23/4 with Unibet for a half-time/full-time result of draw/Sunderland is appealing.